Internet Career Sites

By Ginny Frizzi

May 7, 2010 5 min read

CORRECTION: In the following article's fifth paragraph, Irina Patterson was identified incorrectly as 1M/1M's head, and 1M/1M was identified incorrectly as a project for job seekers. Please use the following corrected version. We apologize for the error. -- Creators.com

INTERNET CAREER SITES

Good parts of a well-balanced job search

Ginny Frizzi

Creators.com

For many job seekers, such traditional techniques as answering want ads, registering with employment agencies, seeking referrals from family and friends, and making cold calls have given way to using the Internet.

In fact, some people are using Internet job sites as their primary source of leads and applications, which -- according to Ken Kuznia, career catalyst at Dig Your Work -- can be a major mistake.

"Many studies have shown that only 10 to 15 percent of all jobs in America are filled through some sort of online posting," Kuznia says. "Although I never discourage anyone from this job searching method, I strongly encourage them to make it only 10 to 15 percent of their job search. My experience has shown that the ratio is typically inverted; most job seekers are spending 85 to 90 percent of their time looking for a job online. The reasons are certainly understandable: It is safe, with no rejection, and makes them feel like they're accomplishing something. Unfortunately, this method provides a false hope and often extends the length of unemployment much longer than it needs to be."

Kuznia advises job seekers to take a more active role in contacting potential employers on their own. "Engage in much more proactive avenues, such as calling the companies directly, which many job seekers have found dramatically increases the number of interviews," he says.

Irina Patterson -- who is a part of 1M/1M (One Million by One Million), a global project for entrepreneurs -- encourages people to make the Internet a job search tool, but not the primary one. "There is a better way," Patterson says. "Use social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to find the key executives at the companies you want to work at, and build relationships with them. If you show you are good at what you do, a job will be created for you. Also, share your skills often and generously while you are looking for a job and even after you've found one."

Though many job seekers post r?sum?s on such Internet job sites as Monster and HotJobs, they may have better luck with those sites devoted to positions in their areas of expertise, such as engineering, journalism or information technology.

According to Arthur Koff, who worked in advertising recruitment for 40 years, general websites can perform an important function for those looking for new positions. "I think online sites are a valuable way to check what's out there or perhaps what is not out there as far as the job market is concerned," Koff says. "All major sites now allow you to search by geographical location, so you can easily check where you live or where you wish to live. Indeed and Simply Hired scrape the jobs from all the job boards, as well as from corporate sites, so these sites are excellent ways to search for a job. Unfortunately, the percentage of hires versus time spent on most major job boards does not correlate well, but this is not necessarily true for niche sites."

Koff founded the niche site Retired Brains, which provides job hunting tips appropriate for those older than 50. "I believe that sites will continue to add niche job searching to make it easier to find jobs in specific areas. Monster and CareerBuilder.com are moving fast in this direction now."

Dan Smolen, an executive recruiter and author of "Tailoring the Green Suit: Empowering Yourself for an Executive Career in the New Green Economy," believes that online job sites will remain popular with job seekers. "There remains the collective notion that responding to online posts is an efficient way for job seekers to pursue best employment opportunities," Smolen says. "However, given the research suggesting that every job opening yields seven applicants, I believe that the effectiveness of seeking opportunities via online job boards has waned. Actually, I suggest a hedge-your-bet strategy that includes several job seeking channels, including online job boards."

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